TDE’s Punch Talks About Why Kendrick Lamar Called Himself “King of New York” on “Control”

Jaelani Turner-Williams Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
punch kendrick lamar
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While visiting podcast My Expert Opinion, Top Dawg Entertainment President Punch gave his interpretation of the iconic Kendrick Lamar “Control” verse.

Kendrick Lamar‘s verse on Big Sean’s 2013 “Control” still has people talking. Although Kendrick’s recent album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers is his final release on TDE, Top Dawg Entertainment President Punch, whose real name is Terrence Louis Henderson Jr., made a blast to the past on Math Hoffa’s My Expert Opinion.

While on the podcast, Henderson gave his interpretation of Kendrick’s “Control” verse. From Punch’s point of view, Kendrick Lamar thought that the rap community was being too “friendly” as peers, prompting him to call out some of the top artists in rap.

“He told me he wanted to give Sean another verse, but Sean was like, ‘Nah, keep that,’” Punch said on the podcast. “Competitive MC stuff, I don’t know if that was the best move.”

Once former Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson tweeted about the “Control” verse, Punch knew that responses to the song would be “huge.”

“We knew it was huge, Kendrick didn’t understand the impact ‘cause he was overseas touring,” he continued.

When asked by Hoffa about Kendrick’s “King of New York Bar,” Punch referenced the bicoastal war between 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. during the ’90s.

“He was saying he was Pac and Biggie. He said, ‘I’m the King of New York and the King of the Coast,’ he’s talking about West Coast,” Punch said.

It was then mentioned that the line was assumed to be about drug lord character Frank White from 1990 film King of New York, but Punch clarified, saying that Kendrick was giving his flowers to fellow West Coast MC Kurupt and his 2010 track “Get Bizy.” The song featured Kendrick, Terrace Martin and Bad Lucc, which Kurupt also spoke about during a 2014 VladTV interview.

“That was a Kurupt bar, originally, ‘cause Kurupt said that and Kurupt was referencing that he was Frank White,” Punch said. “So Kendrick was giving praise to that and taking it in his own direction.”

Watch Punch’s My Expert Opinion appearance below.

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